Biena Magbitang

Published: January 2, 2023

We started 2022 with a vision: create an inclusive, collaborative environment where journalists, civil society organizations, experts, and science communicators can work together and interact to deepen the climate conversation.

Our aim is to engage in meaningful dialogue and guide our fellows in producing compelling stories that have real impact.

As the year draws to a close, allow us to take a step back and reflect on what we accomplished, and at how far we’ve come.

Digital Products

We continue to try different approaches in communicating our quest for climate justice. This year, we focused on ramping up the production of different outputs made for digital natives.

We introduced an Energy Reporting Guide for Southeast Asia— a toolkit for journalists to cover the complex and interrelated topics of energy and climate change through infographics and short video explainers.

Energy Reporting Guide

Introducing a toolkit for journalists to cover the complex and interrelated topics of energy and climate change in the Southeast Asia

The digital guide covered not just climate journalism and energy reporting but tips on using data, social media and multimedia in storytelling. It is available for free in English, Indonesian, and Malay.

We also produced Reporting Climate, a video series on how to make climate stories stand out and be worth the click, read, and share. It featured journalists, scientists, experts, and activists with topics ranging from climate science and storytelling to campaigning for advocacy.

2022 also saw Climate Tracker Asia’s first-ever conference, Through the Climate Lens, which featured more than 30 speakers including leading experts on climate change and energy transition, representatives from civil society organizations, and journalists who are part of our network.

The virtual conference attended by more than 500 participants was top-billed by the Commissioner and Vice Chair of the Philippines’ Climate Change Commission Robert EA Borje who hailed Climate Tracker Asia’s initiative “in shedding light on the experience of the peoples of Southeast Asia.”

Borje added that the conference equipped journalists with the skills and the capacities to apply the “climate lens on energy and diversity” which he believed are “essential for accurate, consistent, and coherent coverage of climate change issues.”

Collaborations

At Climate Tracker, we believe that collaboration among journalists is the future of journalism. This year, we unlocked more potential of journalists working together.

We launched an ASEAN Fellowship on the Climate and Water Nexus which brought together 14 fellows from Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines to collaborate and cover issues focusing on the intersection of climate and water. Articles published under this program included stories on energy access, sea level rise, weather disturbances, and marine protection.

In June 2022, fellows from the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam investigated together how the expansion of LNG as a ‘transition fuel’ in Southeast Asia has affected local communities and the marine environment in the region.

Through a Community Hangout, our fellows also had a chance to interact with our Asian community to share what they have discovered about the region’s growing energy demand being met.

Our fellows from India, Singapore, Pakistan, and Hong Kong also covered COP27 in person in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt and online while another team composed of fellows from Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines reported on the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia.

As the two global events happened simultaneously, we were able to facilitate collaboration and cooperation between the two teams for writing stories that have specific impact in the region. Together, the team was able to produce 67 multimedia products.

This caught the attention of different stakeholders, including Philippine media watchdog Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility which lauded Climate Tracker Asia’s Gaea Cabico’s work in “expanding the climate discussions in the G20 Summit”.

Youth Engagement

Young communicators play a vital part in conversations about climate change and its impacts. But they need the skills, resources, and support to add depth to their stories.

This year, we worked with young people in creating powerful stories from their communities. With creativity and grit, our young fellows were able to bring fresh perspectives to the climate change discourse and amplify underrepresented voices with stories about activism, mental health, green jobs, and marine protected areas.

Special Focus: Just Transition

In a bid to help mainstream the concept and drive conversations about it, we worked with journalists across Southeast Asia to produce stories with special focus on Just Transition.

The stories identified the challenges and opportunities for a just transition in the Philippines and Indonesia such as problems faced by workers, indigenous peoples, and other communities. The stories also discussed the shifts in other sectors like transport and energy.

To tackle key issues around Just Transition, Climate Tracker Asia also held a roundtable discussion in the Philippines in September. The event, which was attended by over 20 delegates, was composed of journalists and representatives from the labor, power, and research sectors, and non-profit organizations.

What we want to do in 2023

Looking ahead to the new year provides an opportunity to celebrate what we’ve accomplished together.

This is a reflection of how our team has worked tirelessly to ensure that we do not lose sight of our mission to support climate storytelling in the region. This is also a testament of how our fellows have pushed boundaries and tell stories that matter, despite facing unprecedented challenges.

We thank you, dear readers, for the great year of journalism and for the stories that made our mission worthwhile.

We’re grateful to our partners, who help us cover the cost of supporting compelling climate journalism in an increasingly fractured media landscape.

It’s been exciting to witness how climate journalism is gaining ground in Asia but the hard work is not over.

Climate change is happening all around us, but it’s easy to feel distant from it.

In 2023, we want to help in connecting the dots to better understand climate change and its impact especially in developing Asia. This requires digging into the big stories at a more local level, ensuring that the voices and experiences of our local communities are represented.

For 2023, we want you to join us in taking that story to communities across Asia and help us in giving locals the power to tell it themselves.